By The Nation
Thailand Action Asia 50, a qualified Skyrunning race supported by Tourism Authority of Thailand and Doi Inthanon National Park finished successfully on February 17.
After a fierce battle, the Overall Champion title is claimed by Thai elite runner, Tanapong Chankrachang in a blistering time of 07:24:55 and another Thai female runner, Suda Tantiveerasut grabbed the women’s 54km title in 09:58:15.
The 54km Overall Champion, Thailand’s Tanapong Chankrachang crossed the finish line in 07:24:55. With 3 years of trail running experience, Chankrachang mentioned that Thailand Action Asia 50 was his first trail race in Doi Inthanon: ‘‘Thailand Action Asia 50 is unique as the course is located in Doi Inthanon so it’s one of its kind. We had comparably cooler weather here today and the scenery was beautiful.
The most technician part for me was the 2nd hill. It was such an interesting course so I would come back for the race next year.”
Another local elite runner, Krist Boonpilai took the 54km Overall 2nd place in 08:17:35 and originally from New Zealand, Chiang Mai resident Ben Price grabbed the 3rd place in 08:31:02. “It was my first time joining the Thailand Action Asia 50 and I really loved the race course especially the 2 peaks. It was cool to run up to the first peak and come down then up to the second peak.
Running through the bush was quite challenging but fun. Hope the course can be extended to 100km in the next version and I would definitely come back for it,” said Price.
The Overall Women’s Champion of the 54km Suda Tantiveerasut clocked 09:58:15. Chiang Mai trail runner Tantiveerasut also came Women’s 4th place at Thailand Action Asia 50 zero edition in 2017. “It was very beautiful throughout the whole race. The course was a mix of runnable roads and technical trails so it was very fun and I really liked it. ”
Local Thai runners Patchara Buakun (10:24:15) and Supaporn Pinchai (10:56:50) grabbed the 54km Women’s 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
In the 31km category, the Men’s title went to Thailand’s Anupong Jomkun in 03:50:30 and the Women’s title was claimed by Thailand’s Chanadda Chananoi in 5:18:12. Jomkun returned to Thailand Action Asia 50 to try a different course and shared: “My favorite part of this race was the U-turn at CP2. It was windy and cooled me down. The view was really nice too. For me, the CP4 was the most challenging part as I had to climb up the hill.”
“I liked the 2nd peak with grass the most as it was very technical and stunning at the same time. I’ m sure I will join the race again,” said Chananoi.
French Hong Kong resident, Pascal Laroumanie and Thailand’s Rapeepat Khamlar grabbed the 15km Men’s and Women’s titles in 01:36:30 and 02:18:37 respectively. Laroumanie said:
“I’m used to running in Hong Kong and this was my first time doing Thailand Action Asia 50. I really enjoyed it. The mountain here was very different as it’s a lot more natural here and trails in Hong Kong usually have many stairs. The trails were also much quieter comparing to the busy trails in Hong Kong,” said Laroumanie.
Khamlar has been running on trails for 2 years and she had thoroughly enjoyed the race day and satisfied with her result. “I liked the first part of the mountain in Padang. The race course of 15km was very suitable for beginner and I would join again in a longer distance next time.’’
Ms Sarima Chindamat, director of the Tourism of Authority of Thailand, Hong Kong, was pleased to support the trail running charity event in Thailand, she said “It's an honor to collaborate with Doi Inthanon National Park and Action Asia Events at this challenging event bringing athletes from Hong Kong to experience the beautiful scenery in this natural trail, while giving back to the local community in supporting sustainable tourism.”
Action Asia Events, the first and only trail running organization allowed to hold charity event in Doi Inthanon National Park for 2 consecutive editions. In order to encourage different types of runners to experience the breathtaking scenery of orchid and coffee plantations and Thai tribe culture in Hmong and Karen village area, three distances - 15km, 31km and 54km were offered.
Being one of the officially sanctioned Skyrunning events and UTMB qualifying races in Thailand, the longest 54km race course featured a total elevation gain of over 3,139m with over 3,125m elevation loss with the finisher receiving 2 ITRA Endurance Points. The 31km course has 1860m elevation gain & 1860m elevation loss. The shortest 15km course has 604m elevation gain & 604m elevation loss which is suitable for beginners.
This fundraising event is possible due to the generous support of supporting partners Tourism Authority of Thailand-Hong Kong, Doi Inthanon National Park, Outdoor Channel, Tri Action, International Skyrunning Federation, ITRA, UTMB Qualifier and Action X Store.